The first period saw the Blues outshooting the Wild 14-8, but the Wild up on the scoreboard. Matt Cooke got his first goal in a Wild sweater on a great pass from Kyle Brodziak, and Torrey Mitchell created a nice screen in front of Blues goaltender Jaroslav Halak. It actually looks like Halak deflected the puck in his own net, but Cooke gets credit for the goal.
Mike Yeo had spent a fair amount of time talking this morning about how he expected to see a lot more out of the special teams in tonight's game, and both the power play and penalty kill units saw action in the first.
The power play unit managed to get one whopping shot on goal, but the penalty kill units looked great even with penalties being given to two of the top penalty killers on the team (Jonas Brodin and Zach Parise).
The second period saw no goals, but lots of action. Towards the end of the period, the Wild actually had a power play that looked like a power play should look. Lots of action, mostly in the Blues zone, and some quality shots. Players weren't hold onto the puck for too long, and really communicated throughout the play.
The story through 2 periods was Jason Zucker and his lack of ice time. He finished the 2nd with the 3rd lowest TOI, with only Zenon Konopka and Justin Fontaine with less time.
Not the impression he probably wanted to make while in the midst of a position battle with Mikael Granlund. After the game, Yeo flat out said he was not happy with the way Zucker played tonight.
Charlie Coyle started the 3rd with a bang, with an extremely Charlie Coyle type of shift. Battled through a few Blues players, got tripped by one of them, but still managed to get a shot off and into the net. He land on his back before the goal crossed the line in a picture perfect "HAHA Brian Elliot you kind of suck" moment.
It should be noted, that was Coyle's golden goal of the preseason (3rd goal for number 3).
Mitchell added insult to injury when he swung around the back of the net, taking Elliot by surprise and scoring a shorthanded goal just a few minutes later.
Nino Niederreiter scored a clear wattle bottle popping PPG that doesn't count because there is no video review in pre-season apparently. Regardless, there was a Wild PPG. That would be 2 PPGs this preseason. TWO.
Parise, Coyle, and Yeo talked about how the team knew going into the game that the lines would be juggled consistently all night. Both Parise and Coyle were fans of how this experiment turned out.
Tonight's game brings the Wild to a 4-1 preseason record. They have one more preseason game on Friday in St. Louis, and then final cuts should be made to drop the roster down to 23.